Post # 1
Hi Bees! My mom and I finally had the dreaded budget conversation this weekend and it’s looking like our total budget is going to be around 50-60K, which is so, so generous of both our families (they’re both putting up 20-25K each and my FI and I will be contributing about 10K) and more than I had ever imagined. Prior to this, I was thinking we would have a 30-40K budget.
Anyway, my mom really, really wants us to get married in Boston (an idea I had all but given up on given our previous budget). FI and I live here and my family all lives in the area, so it would be convenient and easy (for my guests…FI’s family and friends live anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours from Boston). I would LOVE to get married in Boston, but I’m wondering if our budget, which sounds HUGE, is enough to have a real city wedding.
We are planning to have around 125 guests.
So Boston Bees, what was your city wedding budget? Is this a feasible budget for a nice city wedding or do I just need to tell my mom it isn’t going to happen (which I’m fine with, for the record. We’re also looking at venues in CT near FI’s home).
If you did get married in Boston and had a similar budget, where did you have your reception? I’m looking at everything and am feeling a bit overwhelmed!
Post # 3
Are you looking to have it right IN Boston? Or in the greater Boston area?
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Stevens Estate
@annb9: I live about 20 min outside of Boston, but I am not getting married in the city… But..my cousin had his wedding at the Wang Theatre (deffinatley an upscale wedding) last summer…and I heard they spent around 80k and they had about 100 guests(give or take). I would guess the Wang Theatre is a more pricier option..but I am sure whatever place you pick will be amazing cause Boston is a great city to have a wedding in! Good Luck and happy venue hunting!
Post # 5
I would start looking at venues… that will give you a better sense based on the feel you want, options you want, etc. We ruled out a Boston wedding, but our budget was much smaller. I think it would be doable on your budget, however (though you are correct in thinking that it won’t go as far as you’d expect).
Post # 6
@pinkshoes: My mom wants us to look in the city. If our budget can’t afford us a wedding actually in the city of Boston (or Cambridge), we’d probably just stick with the original plan of CT or RI.
Post # 7
Oh, and be sure you look at the costs of alcohol if you are providing. The blue laws in Massachusetts impact what venues can offer in terms of packages for booze, and that added a huge cost to any venue we looked at around here. Just something to be aware of.
Post # 8
@annb9: I’m getting married in Cambridge and your budget sounds about right. With every single cost accounted for, we’re looking at a total of about $52,000 (like you, our parents have been more than generous!). When looking for a venue we checked out the Four Seasons and the Boston Harbor Hotel which are in the city (as opposed to other venues in Cambridge), and the prices were about the same.
One thing to think about with a venue in Boston is the cost for overnight guests. We were able to get our room blocks for $159 a night – which is a really good price for Cambridge. Even if a Boston venue fits into your wedding budget, a $250-$300 a night room probably won’t work for your out-of-town guests!
Post # 9
@annb9: Your costs sound about right for a city wedding in Boston as long as you are not at one of the higher-end venues (which run closer to $80 – 100K). I’m doing a more lower-cost outside in the burbs wedding that runs closer to $30K (i also am looking at 80 guests, so fewer guests as well, and I’m in the industry so some friends are helping out) I’d recommend trying some of these venues:
– Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center (CMAC) – in Cambridge, but very convenient as it’s near a group of hotels
– Artists for Humanity Epicenter – really cool modern looking venue though you have to bring everything in, lots to work with http://afhboston.org/
– Boston Langham Hotel – lesser known but in the financial district, and may be more competitive on hotel rates. They have large spaces to work with
– Boston Seaport Hotel – they run around 2 – 3 weddings a day, but they keep each party separate. Well managed
Hope this helps!!
BTW, I booked my room block at Boston Park plaza which was $215/night double occupancy.
Post # 10
@melonseeds: Thanks for the tips – I’ll check those out! I actually work like 2 minutes from CMAC so I’ve definitely been thinking about it.
Post # 11
Your budget is totally reasonable for a city wedding! If you want to do it in a hotel I think it’ll be like $160-$200/pp for the venue/food, after tax and everything. Some other non-banquet venues I’ve looked at are:
Museum of Science
Commander’s Mansion (in Watertown but it is only a few miles from Boston)
Lyman Estate (a bit outside of city but still very close)
Post # 12
Btw, I LOVE Lyman Estate. One of the prettiest places you can get married outside because of the plenty of gardens and trees. It is a bit small if you’re trying to fit 125 people inside though – they’d have to be split between different rooms.
Post # 13
We got married at the CMAC and it was amazing! We had 85 guests and it was perfect. We got to have an outdoor ceremony in the courtyard followed by an indoor reception which was exactly what we wanted. The total cost for the venue, the caterer and open bar for the whole night (6PM-12AM) was $16,000. Of course there are many other costs on top of that (Dress, DJ, photog, etc.), but that gives you at least a good idea for how much you’d spring for the venue, food and booze. We used Caper’s catering and they were fantastic (they actually got best of boston last year!). We wanted a really unique menu and it blew everyone away. In addition to dinner, we did a make your own brownie sundae/strawberry shortcake bar for dessert and a late night snack of mini burgers and fries. Definitely felt much more luxurious than what we had spent.
Take a look at our photos if you want to see what how it looked. Feel free to PM me if you want any other info!
Post # 14
@call.me.red: Ah your wedding was so pretty! I love your table runners and how you named all the tables after different neighborhoods.
I’ve heard good things about Caper’s Catering – good to get another positive recommendation!
Post # 15
@annb9: To add to what I said above, we got ready at the Hotel Marlowe which is a quick walk around the corner and we had our room block there for guests. Hope that helps!
Post # 16
Downtown Boston with an at most 60K budget? I’d say it’s practically impossible, not to mention 125 guests. I’m getting married downtown in January (“off-season” for weddings but we wanted a winter wedding, the wedding cost does not reflect the time of year believe me) with ~125-150 guests and it is a six-figure wedding not including rings/honeymoon/hotel room expenses for myself and bridal party/my dress and accessories, the grooms ensemble/etc. We’re paying for everything on our own.